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How to Manage WordPress Comment Notification Emails

Do you want to improve your WordPress comment notification emails? Comments drive discussion and user engagement on many blogs. However, WordPress doesn’t do such a great job when it comes to notifying users about comment activity. In this article, we will show you how to better manage WordPress comment notification emails and boost user activity on your website.

How to manage WordPress comment notifications

Why Improve WordPress Comment Notification Emails

Comments are an important activity on many WordPress websites, particularly news sites and blogs. More comments mean a more engaged audience which results in more page views and ultimately more revenue.

However, default WordPress comment system is fairly limited. It sends comment notifications only to site administrators and article authors. Apart from that, there isn’t a default option for other users to be notified of new comments.

Wouldn’t it be nice if users were able to get comment notifications for the posts they like? or when someone replies to their comment?

In this article, we will show you how you can extend the default WordPress comment notification emails for a more engaged user experience on your website.

The Default Comment Notification Options in WordPress

By default, WordPress does not have an option to send notifications to commenters. However, it does have an option to send email notifications to you when a new comment is published and when a comment is held for moderation.

Default WordPress comment email notifications

Both these notifications are sent to the site administrators. WordPress also sends an email notification to post author about new comments.

If you don’t want to receive notifications for comments held for moderation, then you can simply uncheck the box here. This is particularly helpful if you get a lot of comments on your website.

Let Users Know When Their Comment is Approved

Users have no idea whether you approved their comment or not. They do see that their comment is awaiting moderation when they leave a comment. Many of these users never return to your website, and they don’t even know that you approved their comment or replied to it.

You can fix this by installing and activating Comment Approved plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Comment Approved allow users to be notified when their comment is approved. Users can check the option when leaving a comment. You can also customize the email message sent to users after their comment is approved.

Comment Approved settings

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to notify users when their comment is approved in WordPress.

Allow Users to Subscribe to Comments in WordPress

Your commenters have no way of knowing whether you or others replied to their comment. Once they leave a comment, they will have to manually visit your website again to see if someone replied.

To solve this, you need to install and activate Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It allows your users to subscribe to comments on any article with or without leaving comments. It also makes it easier for users to unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded settings

For detailed step by step instructions, see our article on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress.

Allow Users to Subscribe to Only their own Comments in WordPress

Many users may not want to receive notifications for all comments on an article. However, they may want to know if someone replied only to their own comments.

You can add this feature as well using the same Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. Simply visit the plugin’s settings page and click on yes next to ‘Advanced Subscription’ option.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded settings

For more details, see our article on how to notify users on replies to their own comments in WordPress.

Allow Authors to Subscribe To Other Author’s Posts

If you run a multi-author blog, then other authors may want to keep up with discussions across your website. If you already have comment subscriptions enabled, then each author can manually go and subscribe to comments.

However, if you wanted certain users to recieve all comment notifications, then you can do this with cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After installing and activating the plugin, you need to visit Settings » Discussion page to configure plugin settings.

Multi author comment notification settings

It allows you to select the user roles that you want to be notified of new comments. You can also add email addresses of individual users you want to notify.

This is particularly useful if you have registered users who are responsible for comment engagement and moderation.

Creating Custom Comment Notification in WordPress

Want to create your own custom comment notifications in WordPress? Custom notifications can allow you to change the notification sent by WordPress and replace them with your own.

First you will need to install and activate the Better Notifications for WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Notifications » Add New page to create your custom comment notifications.

Add new custom notification

You can modify the new comment, comment awaiting moderation, and comment reply notifications. You can send notifications to any user role, individual users, or add email addresses manually.

It also allows you to completely customize the email sent by WordPress. You can use shortcodes inside the email text to add custom tags.

For more details see our article on how to add better custom notifications in WordPress.

Improve Deliverability of WordPress Email Notifications

All above tips will fail if your WordPress site fails to send email notifications, or if those emails are marked spam by email providers.

To fix WordPress email issues and improve email deliverability, you need to install and activate WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure plugin settings.

WP Mail SMTP settings

This plugin allows you to use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send emails. SMTP is a much better and reliable method than the default mail function used by WordPress.

It works with any email service that supports SMTP. This includes your free Gmail account as well as Gsuite or Google Apps for Work, Mailgun, and Sendgrid.

For details see our article on how to use SMTP server to send WordPress emails.

We hope this article helped you learn how to efficiently manage WordPress comment notifications for more user engagement and pageviews. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step guide on improving WordPress speed and performance for beginners.

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Reader Interactions

22 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I have a couple of people complaining that they get several notification for the same comment and they don’t want to receive them. How do I disable the comments notifications?

  2. Hi, I followed the advice to set up a custom email for a new essay comment. (Creating Custom Comment Notification in WordPress)

    Works fine, but i also get the original email from WP too, how can i stop that one coming?

    • We would recommend reaching out to the plugin’s support for them to take a look at the possoble issues and assist you.


  3. I have the e-mail me when someone comments checked in Settings – Discussion and yet today I left a comment and NO E-Mail was sent to me??? WHY??

  4. Looking for a simple way to notify commenters when their comment is approved. You recommend the Comment Approved plugin, but it hasn’t been updated in over 2 years and carries a warning in the WP repository. Are you still recommending it?

  5. Your real name! lol Love your labels. Ok, but seriously, I’ve been searching and searching for a way to fix the issue on my site to allow commenters to receive my replies and FINALLY I know how, thanks to your article. THANK YOU! Now I just need someone to test it out so I know for sure it works! lol

  6. I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts.

  7. Hi guys,

    I downloaded the “subscribe to comments reloaded” plugin a few months ago. Indeed it’s really nice, and now the readers get an email when I respond to their comment. The problem is… For some reason, this plugin creates A LOT of 404 errors. They typically look like this :

    I guy told me “so far I have not found why google add this kind of error. My theory is that since the URL has a value that changes once in a while, google Indexes the website URL and if the value change the page result is gone, therefore google notifies of this error.”

    All those 404 errors are definitely not good… Do you know how I can fix this? Or if there’s another good plugin where readers get notified when I respond to their comments?


    • Hi Roobens,

      This is a known issue with subscribe to comments reloaded. You can reach out to plugin author on their GitHub page to learn more. Meanwhile, you can ask Google not to follow or index these links by blocking them in Robots.txt file.


      • Thank you!

        Sorry I’m not a techie guy, but if I edit my robots.txt file, I have to add this line right?

        Disallow: /comment-subscriptions/

        And all the 404 errors/broken links will be “gone”? There won’t be new ones, and the old ones are going to “disappear” as well? Right now, I also see them in my Search Console.

        Thanks again.

  8. Hi, thank you for this very detailed article. After several years of receiving emails notifying me of comments awaiting approval on my blog posts, my website suddenly stopped sending me notifications. I am not very active on my site, and time would go by and I thought no one was commenting. One day after several weeks, I checked and had a lot of spam comments, and one lonely real comment awaiting approval. I went through the entire process that you give (before seeing your article), and everything looks okay, all set for me to receive email notifications. All plugins and WP theme are updated. My email address still works, as someone just used my contact page and I received that email. I am using the plug in Comments Reloaded. Have you any ideas what could be wrong? Thank you very much!

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